Ohio State Football: Potential Trapdoor Games In 2018

Ohio State Football: Potential Trapdoor Games In 2018

Terry Johnson

Ohio State Football: Potential Trapdoor Games In 2018


Every national championship contender faces a handful of trapdoor games on its schedule. Buckeye Wire’s Terry Johnson looks at Ohio State’s 2018 docket and examines it for potential landmines.


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Ohio State Football: Potential Trapdoor Games In 2018

The dreaded trapdoor game. Every championship contender has a handful of them on their respective schedules. These matchups are seemingly winnable contests that end up being tougher than expected. The teams that win these games usually end up playing for championships (except for Alabama, which always gets the benefit of a “do over”).

So, what potential landmines loom on Ohio State’s schedule? Here are three games that fit this description.

Oct. 6 versus Indiana

At first glance, this hardly looks like a game the Buckeyes need to worry about. After all, the Hoosiers haven’t beaten Ohio State since 1988. Considering that IU has to replace key players on both sides of the ball, no one would expect that trend to change this season.

With that said, this contest could be a problem. The Buckeyes will enter this game after facing a dangerous Penn State squad in Happy Valley. As we all remember, OSU laid an egg the week after it played the Nittany Lions last season, dropping a 55-24 decision against Iowa. The same thing could happen again this year, especially if IU’s new starting quarterback (whoever it is) is able to find his rhythm early on.

Oct. 20 at Purdue

Make no mistake about it: Ohio State must bring its “A” game in this contest. Now that Jeff Brohm is calling the shots, Purdue’s offense is capable of scoring points against anyone. The Boilermakers were especially dangerous over the final month of the season, averaging 435 yards per game during that five-game span.

Another reason to be concerned is that this game is at Ross-Ade Stadium. The Buckeyes haven’t done well there in the past, dropping games against Purdue in 2011, 2009, and 2004. The 2009 loss was especially troubling since Ohio State entered the game as the No. 9 team in the country.

Nov. 17 at Maryland

Like Indiana, this one doesn’t exactly scream out “potential upset.” The Buckeyes have scored 62 points in each of the last two meetings and have never scored fewer than 49 points in four contests against the Terps.

However, this clash is a classic trapdoor game. It’s sandwiched between Michigan State – arguably the best team on Ohio State’s schedule – and The Game. That means that the Buckeyes have to worry about avoiding a letdown as well as not looking ahead to TTUN.

It’s also worth noting this contest is the second straight road game for OSU. The Buckeyes lost the second of two road games in 2016 (against Penn State) and narrowly escaped against a 3-9 Michigan State team later that year.

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